nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2011‒04‒30
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Surprising Psychology And The New Unconscious: Challenges For The Law. By Maya Bar-Hillel
  2. Institutions, distributed cognition and agency: rule-following as performative action By Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten

  1. By: Maya Bar-Hillel
    Abstract: Recent research in psychology, especially that called "The New Unconscious", is discovering strange and unintuitive phenomena, some of which raise interesting challenges for the law. This paper discusses some of these challenges. For example, if much of our mental life occurs out of our awareness and control, and yet is subject to easy external manipulation, what implications does this have for holding defendants responsible for their deeds? For that matter, what implications does this have for trusting judges to judge and act as they should, and would, if their own mental processes were fully conscious and controlled? Some provocative ideas are suggested, such as how to make prison terms shorter and more deterring at the same time; assisting judges in overcoming inconsistency and biases; etc.
    Date: 2011–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:huj:dispap:dp570&r=neu
  2. By: Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
    Abstract: Recently, Aoki proposed the concept of substantive institutions which relates outcomes of strategic interaction with public representations of equilibrium states of games. I argue that the Aoki model can be grounded in theories of distributed cognition and performativity, which I put into the context of Searle's philosophical account of institutions. Substantive institutions build on regularized causal interactions between internal neuronal mechanisms and external facts, which are shared in a population of agents. Following Searle's proposal to conceive rule following as a neuronally anchored behavioral disposition, I show that his corresponding notion of collective intentionality can be grounded in recent neuroscience theories about imitation as the primordial process in human learning. I relate this with Searle's concept of status function and the neuronal theory of metaphors, resulting in a precise definition of rule-following as performative action. I present two empirical examples, the institution of money and status hierarchies in markets. --
    Keywords: Aoki's concept of substantive institutions,Searle,collective intentionality,emotions,imitation,performativity,sign systems
    JEL: B52 D02 D87
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:157&r=neu

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